How people are, so would be their leaders

Vincent Kundukulam

An important drawback of Indian society is excessive attachment to one’s own community than to ethical values. We don’t have good politicians, bureaucrats, administrators and business men in the country because we don’t have merit-based system to develop leadership. we select leaders on the basis of our caste and creed. We are fascinated less by uprightness and more by dynasty. Divisiveness is a value that we all learn from home. At homes we are taught of the differences among people on account of sex, religion, colour, language and caste. The religion, language and caste of the other people are presented as inferior to one’s own. This goes deep into the mind of the children that when they grow up they do vote for somebody who belongs to their own caste or religion. We must de-educate children in such a way that they should not hate other people on the basis of their birth-identity and background.

The flaw in the present day election propaganda is that the politicians keep the electorate thinking busy about the binaries like majority / minority, Hindus / non-Hindus, Muslims / non-Muslims, Christians / non-Christians, Indians / non-Indians, beef- eaters / vegetarians, etc. and the people forget about the misgovernment of the political parties in power. It is because the average voter acts on behalf of emotion than reason that politicians use primitive and regressive measures to pander the electorate. Giving candidature to someone on the basis of community gives the impression that sins like corruption is pardoned if you belong to a particular caste or religion. It means that we Indians don’t value honesty above community. Hence we get only mediocre leadership and there is no point in accusing the politicians for everything; it is we who create them and sustain them in the political field for our vested interests.

Given Christians are supposed to play ethical role in the society, they are bound to examine critically the deeper intricacies that cause the present day camouflage in the socio-cultural-political spheres. It is time to reflect together how we can regain the secular and democratic polity of this country. We have to identify the factors that intersect in the present state of metamorphosis affecting the country to search for responses that safeguard the Constitutional values. As regards Christians, there is no response without referring to the Bible and to the Tradition of the Church. The relevant question is how Christians can become effective catalysts in building the new India, respecting its inter-religious context and subaltern background?

Discussions on the growing communalism, corruption and caste discrimination are not wanting. There are plenty of seminars, study classes and publications on the same. But we often address only the symptoms of the disease. We try to bring the fever down when the infection is high. Crocin is not enough; we need strong antibiotics. Without values a society can’t exist. As Indians, the point is how do we answer to the questions like – What we value, democracy or theocracy? Do we value transparency or back-door business? Do we value the interest of our community or that of India? At present, the upcoming generations in India are confused of the values they must strive for. After independence, India has mixed its traditional values with the modern thinking. But different subsets of Indian society have not attained their healthy fusion. The challenge of the Christians who desire to engage in the nation building is to attain a healthy fusion of values that help building up one nation.

Leave a Comment